Even with the current load-shedding crisis popularly known as Dumsor which is eating too much into the budget of event organisers these days, event organisation in general has become a very lucrative venture in Ghana.
Though it is an expensive area, if planned and executed well, a lot in terms of monetary gains can be gotten from it.
The monetary gains have encouraged people to venture into event organisation without thinking of how to put out a good show because they are focused exclusively on making money.
Don’t all patrons want to see a show go well? Yes! Do they actually care about what it entails to make it successful? No! In actual fact, it is much easier for a show to flop than it to be successful.
Last week, during the celebration of February 14; Valentine’s Day and also Chocolate Day in Ghana, lots of event organisers put up shows; some pre, during and even post Valentine themed.
As expected, some of the shows were exceedingly successful whiles others were major flops.
For the sake of this piece, let us look at the latter, which according to reports did not go as successfully as anticipated.
On Friday, February 13, a pre-Valentine’s Day movie premiere was organised by multiple award winning Writer/Director and Producer, Shirley Frimpong-Manso for her latest movie, Grey Dawn at the Silverbird Cinema in Accra.
The premiere, I believe was to make lovers start their Val’s Day celebration a day before and climax it on the 14th. That was not the first time the Sparrow Productions boss was premiering a movie on the eve of Valentine’s Day. She had done so successfully previously.
Looking at the standards set by Shirley Frimpong-Manso, in her previous premieres, both at the National Theatre and Silverbird Cinema, this very one may not be rated a success.
According to reports by some entertainment critics, the premiere did not see the usual numbers that a Shirley Frimpong-Manso’s movie has always attracted at her premieres. so consequently, the premiere fits the description of a ‘flop’.
“Our (your) first impression on getting to the venue: (1) Either no premiere was actually taking place there, or (2) Some other functions was going on.
It took a while to finally notice two roll-ups banner adverts, joined together to act as a backdrop. Not only was this shameful but it demonstrated poor judgment.
The red carpet was more of a hazard than its intended purpose because without a thoughtful and careful movement, a dignitary might see himself or herself crashing to the floor.
The assumption that majority of the guests were already seated inside the theatre enjoying the movie and would soon storm out was met with disappointment as only a handful of people emerged at the end and these were mostly the cast of the movie.
The excitement of the few patrons waiting to enter for the second and last session for the day was subdued.
The few pressmen reluctantly did what they could do to create a superficial impression that all went well,” reported Chucks Ineh.
A week or two before, AY’s “30 Days In Atlanta”, a super hilarious comedy movie and Ama K. Abebrese’s “Double Cross” had witnessed an impressive turnout at the same venue, so why “Grey Dawn” failed to attract half of what the movies above got in terms of attendance at the premiere is worrisome.
It was obvious that whatever Shirley Frimpong-Manso was doing previously to get a full house was not adhered to this time around or perhaps the same thing was done and the patrons just didn’t show as much interest as they had previously done.
The F14 Concert organised by Abba Investments with legendary Amakye Dede, R2bees, Nana Quame, DKB, Kacey Moore, Jacinta and Abenkwan billed to perform turned out to be the flop of all the Valentine’s Day shows this year.
“Everything about this was messy. Arguably, this was the worst concert ever organised at the Accra International Conference Center in recent memory.
The organisers of the event asked audience who attended the event to go home without the performances of Amakye Dede and R2bees.”
“The venue of the event had only a few people seated in front of the stage clearly showing all the empty seats behind. Few of the patrons who could not wait any longer due to late start of the show started leaving around 10 pm, further dwindling the number of people at the venue,” reported Zionfelix.
“What was so disappointing about this event is that, it had some great performers on the bill and so the fact that it attracted poor attendance is a cause for concern. Are Ghanaians already tired of Amakye Dede in particular?”
Several factors can contribute to make a show flop, and even if you have everything in place like big artistes, the best equipment and at the end of the day, patrons don’t come to watch the show, it becomes a flop.
In the same vein, even if you have a good movie, it is not enough to attract patrons to the premiere.
Charterhouse’s George Quaye who has been involved in the organisation of many shows tells me that, often event organisers overlook one important aspect of planning a show; which is how to get people to the event.
“To make an event, there are various aspects. The most important of which is planning. When you talk about planning, it is not about who performs on that day or the number of minutes the person performs on stage.”
According to him, “The planning includes how to get people to the events. In fact, this is one of the most important aspect of event organization most people overlook.”
“Why is it that when you are organising a birthday party or a wedding, you print invitation cards? It is because without it, you cannot have people and without people you cannot have an event.”
He said that, many event organisers are confused about their target audience. He is of the view that, as an event organiser, once you identify your target, you must learn their habit, the kind of television they watch, the kind of radio stations they listen to, and then you target your promo or publicity through those mediums.
For instance, if you are organising Concert Party, obviously your target audience mostly listen and watch Peace FM, Adom, UTV and other Twi speaking stations, so running a promo on Joy FM, Starr FM, Citi FM and other English language stations will mean that, you do not know what you are about as an event organiser.
In coming weeks, we will look at other things that make a show or an event flop.